Mike Zimmer hopeful about Vikings’ offensive line, running game

Published 7:55 am Monday, June 19, 2017

By Chad Graff

Pioneer Press

It’s still early, Mike Zimmer conceded, but as the team’s mandatory mini-camp concluded Thursday, the Vikings coach said he’s optimistic about the two worst areas from last season’s team: the offensive line and the running game.

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In an attempt to bolster both, the Vikings brought in offensive tackles Reilly Reiff, Mike Remmers and center Pat Elflein, and added running backs Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook.

Murray has yet to practice with the Vikings because of an ankle injury, but Zimmer spoke highly about the other newcomers.

“I guess the biggest thing I feel good about is all those guys are on the same page,” he said. “They communicate well, they talk well. I’ve sat in most of the offensive line meetings. It’s a good group.”

Reiff signed a five-year, $58.75 million contract with Minnesota; Remmers signed for five years and $30 million.

Together, they offer promise for improved results on an offensive line ravaged by injury last season, part of why the Vikings averaged 3.2 yards a carry last season, dead-last in the NFL.

“I was really impressed with Riley Reiff — but again, this is without pads,” Zimmer said. “He is a tough guy, physical guy, good with his sets. He doesn’t say much, but when he says something, he means it. Remmers has done a nice job with competing with (Everson) Griffen every day.”

Reiff played the past five season with the Detroit Lions, and Remmers the past three with the Carolina Panthers.